PHP (hypertext preprocessor) is a programming language that helps web developers to create dynamic content that interacts with the database. PHP development began in 1994 when it wrote several Common Gateway Interface (CGI) programs in C. Basically, PHP is used for developing web-based software applications. PHP is a language that is used worldwide, free, and productive option to competitors such as Microsoft’s ASP.
Well, as a programming language, PHP has various advantages but security has always been the main issue. These safety issues are inherent to the language itself because PHP was intended to be a straightforward and strong programming language. But, when you add poor coding and show non-adherence to even the basic security rules, the situation gets out of control.
Moreover, it is reasonable to resolve PHP vulnerabilities and make PHP applications more secure. Some of the defenses are common for all programming languages, while others are discovered only in PHP.
Let’s talk about PHP Security against Default Vulnerabilities:
Secure Your Code From SQL Injection
SQL injection is one of the typical vulnerabilities and many hackers take advantage of it. This attack is a type of code injection, where attackers use vulnerabilities in the sites. Well, the vulnerabilities are used to send special SQL queries to the database that can modify it. And tables within it or in the worst case delete the whole database.
This attack happens when the web developers have failed to create any checking or data validation functionality for the areas of the website where data from external sources can be inserted into the website.
To secure SQL injection you must check input data to escape characters, for instance, single quotes(‘) and double quotes(“).
Cross Site Scripting
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) arises when an attacker creates bad code to load into a website visitor’s browsers and execute. Then this code can make malevolent activities such as stealing user cookies, which can give administrative level access, or execute functions as the user. Moreover, execute function can give further access. There are two types of cross-site scripting Reflected XSS and Stored XSS.
Well, a Reflected XSS happens when an attacker builds a link that includes malicious code. In the event that the link is loaded into a browser, the website serves up the malicious code as part of the website content. This code executes in a user’s browser and can steal cookies or perform other malicious tasks. If you need to exploit a website using Reflected XSS, you must generate a link to a search results page that includes malicious code and conveys that to the site admin which would then take his or her cookies.
A stored XSS vulnerability can only happen when an attacker is ready to get the website to store the harmful code which is later served up inside another user’s browser and performed. An instance of stored XSS(Cross-Site Scripting) is where an attacker posts a comment on your WordPress website that includes code that steals user cookies and sends them somewhere.
Remote(RFI) File Inclusion And Local File Inclusion(Lfi)
RFI occurs when a PHP application takes user input and passes it to a function that is intended to load a file. In the event that this file is a URL, the function may load PHP code from a different site that an attacker specifies which will then be executed on your site. The incorporation of a remote file in a URL is identified as Remote File Inclusion or RFI.
In the event that the file an assailant passes is a local file, the application might output the contents of that file to the screen. This is normally how an assailant gets access to a WordPress website wp-config.php file. This is called Local File Inclusion or LFI.
The functions which are susceptible to RFI and LFI in PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) are: include, include_once, fopen, file_get_contents, require, and require_once.
These functions load PHP code or content from a source that the developer determines. In the event that the PHP establishment on the site is configured unreliably, an assailant can load a delicate file as PHP code or content, or a remote file that allows them to access the site.
Php Object Injection
The Pph object Injection is a more difficult attack that happens when a PHP application takes user input and sends it to a function known as ‘unserialize()’ which uses a stored object and converts it into an object in memory. Furthermore, this may seem difficult but the imperative thing to note here is that once again, it arises when a developer enables user input to be utilized in an insecure way within a PHP application.
Keep Software Up To Date
It might seem obvious, but make sure you stay up with the latest software because it is vital to keep your site more secure. This applies to both the server operating system and any software you might keep running on your site, for example, a CMS or forum. When site security holes are found in software, hackers are quick to endeavor to abuse them.
In the event that you are utilizing a managed hosting solution then you don’t have to stress such a great amount of applying security updates for the operating system as the hosting company should deal with this.
Well, multiple security breaches arise when a user can upload files to a server. You must make sure that you go through all the vulnerabilities connected to uploading of the files and take suitable precautions against these vulnerabilities, for instance, moving the uploaded files to publicly inaccessible folders, renaming uploaded files, checking the types of the file uploaded, and move on.
Check Your Php Code With Tools
Now a large number of tools are available to test the security of your code. Make sure, you are trying your best to write secure code, adhere to security practices, and accurately review your code for errors.
So, above mentioned steps will help you to understand the most common types of PHP vulnerabilities. With the above-mentioned detail, you will easily understand the severity of these vulnerabilities.